The Ministry Continues ~ Part 7
We continue our study of The Ministry Continues, beginning in Mattityahu 12:38-42. We will be interspersing quotes from Mattityahu, Luke, and Mark in this post. Thus, the footnotes for the citation.
The Sign of Yonah (Jonah)
Yeshua never cheapens Himself or dilutes His message for those whose interest in Him is casual or hostile, and nowhere is this more valid than when He predicts His own resurrection.
38 At this, some of the Torah-teachers said, “Rabbi, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” 39 He replied, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign? No! None will be given to it but the sign of the prophet Yonah. 40 For just as Yonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the depths of the earth.
Yonah was sent to prophesy to the non-Jews of Nineveh in Assyria. Adultery is widely used in Scripture as a metaphor for sin and unfaithfulness to God (e.g., Isaiah 57:3; Ezekiel 16:32; Hosea 1–3; James 4:4).
Three days and three nights in Jewish reckoning is inclusive, meaning no more than three days or the combination of any part of three separate days. Yeshua was raised “in three days,” although he was buried Friday afternoon and resurrected Sunday morning (i.e., part of Friday is day one, all of Saturday is day two, and part of Sunday is day three).
41 The people of Ninveh will stand up at the Judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they turned from their sins to God when Yonah preached, but what is here now is greater than Yonah.
In contrast to many of Yeshua’s contemporaries, the recipients of Yonah’s message – who were Assyrians, the enemy of God’s people – repented.
42 The Queen of the South will stand up at the Judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Shlomo, but what is here now is greater than Shlomo. 
Queen of the South, i.e., the Queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1–10, 2 Chronicles 9:1–12), also was not Jewish.
Return of an Unclean Spirit
Yeshua describes the evil and adulterous generation as a disembodied spirit who returns to its host with greater severity.
43 “When an unclean spirit comes out of a person, it travels through dry country seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says to itself, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house standing empty, swept clean, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they come and live there—so that in the end, the person is worse off than he was before. This is how it will be for this wicked generation.” 
27 As Yeshua was saying these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice to call out, “How blessed is the mother that gave birth to you and nursed you from her breast!”
Blessed is the mother that gave birth to you echoes of what Mariyam, the mother of Yeshua, has already articulated about her own role. As Yeshua moves toward His death, He states the inverse of the woman’s cry, pronouncing that someday those who are childless will be called blessed.
28 But he said, “Far more blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”
True blessedness, according to Yeshua, is found in obedience to God’s revelation.
In our next post, we will pick up where we left off in Mattityahu 12:46-50.